Sometimes I wonder about this – same with Survivor – where do the producers find some of these contestants. I know some apply from all around the country. I know some are found by casting directors – S4 Dave/Jeff were found hanging out on the beach – and cast for their looks and perhaps personality. I just wonder about one thing primarily – how do they continually seem to find Racers who it seems have no idea what they are getting themselves into?
If you are cast on a reality show – not including the fans that actually apply, make a video, the whole nine yards – wouldn’t you do even a smattering of research about what it is you are agreeing to do? It’s like “The Bachelor” men and women being surprised at the vapidity of the show and the emotional connections formed and broken. Or Survivor contestants who refuse to help at camp, or bitch about hunger. Or Top Chef cooks who fail to make dishes in the allotted time. The list goes on. For the Race – its people who fail to learn basic skills before stepping to the Starting Line.
There are lots of offenders – primarily it’s those who fail to learn to drive stick, learn basic map reading skills, or don’t practice on bicycles. Secondary to that, those who fail to read their clues properly. Another subsection is those with massive phobias. I can grant some slack to those afraid of spiders, bees, snakes, etc. since it is not that common for the show to delve into those tasks (even if it is not unprecedented). However, fears of heights, tight spaces and water have little excuse. Every season features some aspect of these maladies – if you are going on the show, you need to be ready to do it.
I am someone who would love to Race someday. If that opportunity ever presented itself, I would instantly take standard transmission driving lessons. I would learn to ride a bike – I know, I know, trust me; I’ve heard all the teasing already. I would do some laps in the pool to get my swimming skills boned up. I would hit the gym and work on cardio and upper body strength. And, I would go into the Race knowing that I may have to dive out of a plane, rappel down a mountain, or worst of all for me, climb out on the outside of a building. And I would have to suck it up and do it. Because I CHOSE to go on a show that may make me do it.
But that’s me. Clearly, Team Uterus disagrees with this mindset.
Doctor, Doctor had an epically bad leg. The Twins went from being a founding member of the Fight Club Alliance to getting passed on a leg with no bunching by two teams who took four-hour penalties last week. Think about that. I’d have to say that kind of downfall is unprecedented in 21 previous seasons. And it all came down to the fact that the two of them failed to learn how to swim well.
The swim task wasn’t even that hard. It was mainly a treading water task – and these two are not out of shape. The task that nailed them had teams dive down to a not-so-deep level in the ocean and untie ropes holding a series of oysters. Even with the worst luck, chances are we are talking about only a handful of dives to find the correct mollusks. Smart teams even took the ropes back to the boat and opened them on the deck, enabling a bit of rest. Team YouTube was even smarter – keeping one team member on board to shuck them at a faster pace.
The Doctors almost quit the task before it even began!! And the funniest part – they considered taking the penalty for skipping a Detour before they even started. At least they realized the extreme folly of that task later on – not even the time penalty part – but the fact that there was ANOTHER TASK OPTION TO DO!!! The two of them stubbornly continued doing a task they were failing miserably at rather than flip and head over to the other one. Seriously, if you failed to get the skills needed to do this simple dive, at least try and see if the other one was easier! And guess what…it was! The only issue with the other one was that it took a fairly set amount of time to do – the oysters could have been done very quickly with some luck.
They were so bad at this that they kept dropping oysters off the rope on the way to the surface – how many of the dropped oysters were containing the required pearls they had to find? It was probably in the Top 5 of horribly run legs of the Amazing Race as you will find. And it all stems from two grown men failing to work on basic skills, or be willing to overcome fears.
In other Race news, The Fight Club Alliance is starting to fall apart. That was fast. First Team Uterus implodes and is ousted. Then Dude Jeff (I say him because Dudette Jess seemed pretty quiet on it) essentially backs out of the Fight Club agreement unless the First Rule of Fight Club is honored. No talking about Fight Club. That means they are holding onto the Second Express Pass – the Project Mayhem of this season. And I’m not going to link to every Fight Club reference I make this season because if the alliance lasts it will become tiresome. Just watch the movie. It’s a good one.
Needless to say, our cancer surviving dad and son are not pleased with this decision because, you know, they think the Express Pass is theirs due to the agreement. Team Ribbon walks away from the Dudes disgruntled and we get a lot of chatter from folks who won’t kiss up to the Dudes for the Express Pass. And I applaud them for that – it’s just an Express Pass! Just run your Race and let the Dudes do what they want. My question – do they even need to hand it out? Because what’s in it for them? Unless they want to save a weak team and possibly knock out a contender, it has no real value to them. And in that case, it has no value except in the heat of a challenge. Meh. I’m done with Express Pass drama.